Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO GOVERNOR DINWIDDIE. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. I (1748-1757)
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TO GOVERNOR DINWIDDIE. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. I (1748-1757) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1889-1893). Vol. I (1748-1757).
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TO GOVERNOR DINWIDDIE.
Alexandria, 5 December, 1755.
I have sent the bearer, Captain John Mercer (who has accounts to settle with the Committee), to the treasurer for the balance of that ten thousand pounds; and to acquaint your Honor, that, meeting with letters at Fredericksburg, as I returned from Williamsburg, informing me that all was peaceable above, and that nothing was so immediately wanting as salt, I got what I could at that place, and hastened on here to engage more, to receive the recruits expected in, and to wait the arrival of the vessel with arms, &c., from James River, in order to forward them up with the greater despatch. The vessel is not yet arrived.
I have impatiently expected to hear the result of your Honor’s letter to General Shirley, and wish that the delays may not prove ominous. In that case, I shall not know how to act; for I can never submit to the command of Captain Dagworthy, since you have honored me with the command of the Virginia regiment, &c.
The country has sustained inconceivable losses, by delaying the commissaries at Williamsburg. Many of the Carolina beeves are dead, through absolute poverty, and the chief part of them too poor to slaughter. We are at a loss how to act, for want of the mutiny bill; and should be obliged to your Honor, if you will have fifty or a hundred printed, and sent by the bearer.1 There is a clause in that bill, which, if you are not kind enough to obviate it, will prevent entirely the good intention of it, that is, delaying the execution of sentences, until your Honor shall be made acquainted with the proceedings of the court. This, at times when there is the greatest occasion for examples, will be morally impossible; (I mean, while we are on our march, perhaps near the Ohio,) when none but strong parties can pass with safety. At all times it must be attended with great expense, trouble, and inconveniency. This I represented to Colonel Corbin, and some other gentlemen of the Council, when I was down, who said that the objection would be removed, by your Honor’s giving blank warrants, to be filled up as occasion should require. This would effectually remedy all those evils, and put things in their proper channel.
We suffer greatly for want of kettles; those sent from below, being tin, are of short duration. We shall, also, in a little time, suffer as much for the want of clothing; none can be got in these parts; those which Major Carlyle and Dalton contracted to furnish we are disappointed of. Shoes and stockings we have, and can get more if wanted, but nothing else. I should be glad your Honor would direct what is to be done in these cases; and that you would be kind enough to desire the treasurer to send some part of the money in gold and silver. Were this done, we might often get necessaries for the regiment in Maryland, or Pennsylvania, when they cannot be had here. But with our money it is impossible; our paper not passing there.
The recruiting service goes on extremely slow.1 Yesterday being a day appointed for rendezvousing at this place, there came in ten officers with twenty men only. If I had any other than paper money, and you approved of it, I would send to Pennsylvania and the borders of Carolina. I am confident men might be had there. Your Honor never having given any particular directions about the provisions, I should be glad to know, whether you would have more laid in, than what will serve for twelve hundred men, that I may give orders accordingly.
As I cannot now conceive that any great danger can be apprehended at Fort Cumberland this winter, I am sensible that my constant attendance there cannot be so serviceable as riding from place to place, making the proper dispositions, and seeing that all our necessaries are forwarded up with despatch. I therefore think it advisable to inform your Honor of it, hoping it will correspond with your own opinion.
I forgot to mention when I was down, that Mr. Livingston, the Fort Major, was appointed adjutant to our regiment. I knew of none else whose long servitude in a military way, had qualified better for the office. He was appointed the 17th of September.
Captain Mercer’s pay as aid-de-camp seems yet doubtful. I should be glad if your Honor would fix it; as so is Captain Stewart’s. If Captain Stewart’s is increased, I suppose all the officers belonging to the light-horse will expect to have theirs augmented also. Colonel Stephen, in a late letter, discovered an inclination to go to the Creek and Cherokee Indians this winter. I told him where to apply, if he had any such thoughts. I believe, on so useful a business, he might be spared until the spring. If your Honor think proper to order the act of Assembly for apprehending deserters, and against harbouring them, to be published every Sunday in each parish church, until the people are made acquainted with the law, it would have a very good effect. The commonalty in general err more through ignorance than design. Few of them are acquainted that such a law exists, and there is no other certain way of bringing it to their knowledge. There are a great many of the men that did once belong to our companies, deserted from the regiments into which they were drafted, that would now gladly return, if they could be sure of indemnity. If your Honor would be kind enough to intimate this to General Shirley, or the colonels of those regiments, it would be of service to us. Without leave, we dare not receive them.1 I am, &c.
[1 ]“The printer has been so engaged in printing bills for money, he has not been able to print off the acts.”—Dinwiddie to Washington, 14 Dec., 1755.
[1 ]He sent officers to elections and other public meetings, that being a favorable opportunity for securing recruits.
[1 ]“Any soldier who shall desert, though he return again, shall be hanged without mercy.”—Orderly Book, 25 December, 1755.